AARP Wyoming recognized longtime volunteer and past president Les Engelter for his tireless contribution to Wyoming residents age 50 and older. Engelter received the Andrus Award, an award named for AARP founder Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus and the highest honor AARP can bestow upon a volunteer. He was among six recognized at an AARP Wyoming awards banquet in Cheyenne on Oct. 13.
Engelter, a retired school principal from Sheridan, has traveled throughout the state this year explaining the new health care law to groups large and small, said AARP Wyoming Director Tim Summers.
AARP Wyoming President Cathy Gonzales called Engelter “Mr. AARP” for his devotion to important issues facing people 50 and older. In addition to health care, Engelter has recently leant his time to projects that help equip people to re-enter the workforce after retirement.
Also honored were Cheyenne residents Sharon Fain with the Community Partner Award, Dan Flores with the Driver Safety Award, Ken Trowbridge with the Advocacy Award, Dwayne Trembly with the Retired Educator Award, and Jerry Franklin of Torrington received the Tax Aide Award.
Fain was honored for her coordination of a joint project between Cheyenne Light, Fuel & Power, Habitat for Humanity and AARP Wyoming that brought together more than 100 volunteers to weatherize and improve the safety of a dozen homes in Cheyenne on Sept. 11.
“She really cares about people and goes out of her way to help,” said AARP Wyoming Associate Director of Communications Joanne Bowlby Mai.
AARP Wyoming Director Tim Summers said Trowbridge showed amazing dedication as an advocate working on several issues at once despite also battling illness. “I am just grateful we get to work with him,” Summers said.
Of Trembly, Summers said “This guy doesn’t slow down on advocacy.”
AARP Tax-Aide program volunteer Franklin has devoted about 15 years to the project. Much of his time has been spent smoothing out technical issues associated with the software used by volunteers.
“Jerry doesn’t just help people with their taxes,” said AARP Wyoming Associate Director of Community Outreach Renee Gamino. “Sometimes he’ll go a little further and light their furnace too.”
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